The San Diego State Aztecs aren't the same team they were last year, but make no mistake about it, they're a dangerous team yet again.
The Aztecs finished the season as one of the top 25 ranked teams in the country (18 in AP, 21 in USA) and are hoping to replicate the success they had in the big dance last year.
It won't be easy; they're a No. 6 seed in the Midwest Region, but they have the talent to make it happen.
What are their keys to success? Simple.
The Aztecs win with a fairly balanced attack, but it is Jamaal Franklin who dominates the court game in and game out.
The 6'5" sophomore leads the team in scoring, rebounding and blocks.
Chase Tapley is the second-leading scorer and is their best threat from beyond the arc.
The two combine for about 32 of the Aztecs' average 71 per game and will need to be that good, and then some, to make the most of their tournament appearance.
There isn't much height to speak of for the Aztecs, and the little bit that there is belongs to senior Garrett Green.
He plays only 18.8 minutes per game, and he'll need to make the most of that.
Green, approximately 6'11", is the team's fourth-leading rebounder, but will need to be bigger than that in this tournament.
Offensively and defensively, this team can be manhandled by larger squads, so when Green steps on the court, he has to step up his game.
Franklin does everything for this club, and at only 6'5", that isn't necessarily a good thing.
Teams are going to focus on him when he has the ball, and they'll have to find a way to score points elsewhere.
Unfortunately, they're one of the worst passing teams in the country, ranked 212th in assists.
This team will have to find a way to get open looks for Franklin and Tapley, and that starts and ends with passing.
Without the necessary size to match up with bigger clubs, the Aztecs have to be active on the perimeter and deny entry into the post.
They're not great taking the ball away, and they're middle of the road against the three-ball.
That doesn't bode well for tournament play, and this team has to step up and take away easy looks from their opponents.
Their team-first mentality must translate to group play on the defensive end, or they won't survive.
The Aztecs got no help from the committee and wound up having to play a dangerous N.C. State team in the first round.
The Wolfpack are far from consistent, but they can surprise as well as anyone.
Knocking off the ACC team is going to be a huge test for the Mountain West Conference power.
And should they win, they'll likely see Georgetown in the second round.
They won't make it back to the Sweet 16 this year.
If they find a way to outlast N.C. State in the opening round, they'll fall at the hands of the Hoyas.
The Aztecs simply didn't take enough talented teams this year to be considered a legitimate threat to a Big East-tested team like Georgetown.